Friday, November 11, 2011

My busy week

Tortilla francesa con chorizo

Hello all,

It's been a week since I've posted, because I have been very busy at school. Everyday I had to plan something new for all my classes. It was quite a tiresome week, and I am glad that it's finally over. Let me give you a recap of the happenings.

Monday was a good day, because I started a dance class at Academia Lopez Infante ( The class lasts for one hour in the morning and consists of a mix of international ballroom styles and flamenco. There were no guys in the class so the women had to change parts. I have no problem with this, because I want to learn the man's part so I can teach it. We worked on tango, merengue, and flamenco. I definitely need to look into private classes, because I feel like I can do so much more. I'm looking into that today.

At night, my intermediate 1 English class was ok. I gave the students some information sheets with vocabulary related to physical descriptions. Using the vocabulary, I asked them to describe the celebrities in my powerpoint presentation. I put on a picture of a young Michael Jackson and a student exclaimed, "So he was black!" When they saw Princess Diana, someone said, "She is a woman with short blonde hair who is beautiful." Someone else said, "She was beautiful..." Apparently I had pictures of a lot of dead celebrities. Oops.
I also taught them terms like "heavy- set", "chubby", "six pack", and "hunk". That was interesting...

Tuesday was a long day, but it went well. I talked about endangered animals, animal feeding habits, and weird animal facts with the kids at the primary school. The kids in my first two classes mostly shouted random words and acted really silly. It's so amusing, but I usually forebear laughing. Self control!

The 11 year old kids were the most enthusiastic, because they understand more English. I was surprised that they clapped when I walked in the class. I'm liked. Geah! Maybe they clapped, because they know that school is over once I leave. I dunno.

The night students were a lot of fun. I went over physical descriptions with the Intermediate 1 class, and I introduced health and medicine to the Intermediate 2 class. In the Intermediate 2 class, we used most of the hour to discuss healthcare. I explained the US social security and healthcare system to them, and they explained the socialist healthcare system in Spain. One older gentlemen told me, "in the US your government trusts you, but we not free." Haha. He meant to say that they don't have a choice in the matter. The discussion became heated when someone mentioned healthcare for immigrants. It was the most stimulating class I have had yet. I loved it!

Wednesday was an easy day. I had two basic 2 classes and one intermediate 2 class. In the basic 2 class, I reinforced past simple, introduced past continuous and received feedback for the very first time. My students told me that they prefer to hear me talk. I had them play a past simple board game in groups of three and four, but I walked around to listen to them talk. After class some of the students told me that they understand each other's english, but they don't understand me. This mostly came from one of the teacher's pet. I called him the teachers pet, because he always answers questions in class. I asked them some questions two weeks ago about usual activities. I asked, "what do you usually do on Saturdays at 3pm?" He responded, "I usually study English." Everyone groaned. I jokingly called him the teacher's pet. To suck up is "hacerle la pelota a alguien." I pretended like I was bouncing a ball (pelota). Haha. He retorted, "I am 55 years old. It's posssible." Love it.

Keeping in mind what the students told me, I didn't have the next class play the board game. I simply asked the questions aloud and then went over some past continuous activities. They agreed that this method was better than playing the board game. During the hour, the issue of sheet and sh%$ came up. I wanted to make sure that they pronounced sheet correctly. Ofcourse, I didn't need to explain the meaning of the other word. They already knew. One of the students told us that her husband had a bad experience with the word "seat". He had told a receptionist at the airport that he booked his "sh%#". Hmm...

The intermediate 2 class was my favorite. I was supposed to teach them some health idioms. The subject of my dancing was mentioned at the beginning of class. The teacher told me not to start class right away, because some students are late due to working. So, I asked about their weekends and told them about my dance class. This turned into an hour long lesson about American Smooth and American Rhythm dances. I taught vocabulary and even gave some demonstrations. They also learned about DUI which my instructor taught me. Not the drunk driver, but ballroom posture. I, of course, had to tell them the meaning in the court system first. They were so entertained and very tickled that the man "calls" the women in competitions when he reaches his head out. The teacher exclaimed, "how sexy is that! " It was so fun that I decided to do the same thing for my thursday night Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 classes.
One of the students danced hustle with me. I am still smiling about that joyous moment.

Today, I'm not doing much. I have something special planned for the weekend that I will tell you about after it's done. Smile.

Well, I'm going to go buy some cookies and possibly eat the whole pack today. I have a chocolate problem, I know.



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